Shamanism to Shamanic: Changing the Way We Talk About Altered States of Consciousness

Caley Rydzinski

Description

The term shamanism has become an umbrella term to describe any religion, typically an indigenous tradition, which incorporates altered states of consciousness (ASC) into its practice. This is a major departure from the original use of the term, which was used to describe the practices of specific indigenous tribes in Siberia and was itself a translation of the term these tribes used to identify specific practitioners. In the past fifty years, a new form of shamanism, neo-shamanism, has rapidly gained popularity in both the United States and in Europe and is frequently found within the Neo-Pagan movement. Through a critical analysis of the structure and beliefs of traditional shamanism and neo-shamanism, as well as the academic approaches taken when studying shamanism, this research argues that a change in terminology is needed to talk about ASC and to reflect the changing conditions in which the term shamanism is applied. This presentation is a part of Cayley Rydzinski’s honors research project.

 
Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 11:00 AM

Shamanism to Shamanic: Changing the Way We Talk About Altered States of Consciousness

Room E103, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan Universit

The term shamanism has become an umbrella term to describe any religion, typically an indigenous tradition, which incorporates altered states of consciousness (ASC) into its practice. This is a major departure from the original use of the term, which was used to describe the practices of specific indigenous tribes in Siberia and was itself a translation of the term these tribes used to identify specific practitioners. In the past fifty years, a new form of shamanism, neo-shamanism, has rapidly gained popularity in both the United States and in Europe and is frequently found within the Neo-Pagan movement. Through a critical analysis of the structure and beliefs of traditional shamanism and neo-shamanism, as well as the academic approaches taken when studying shamanism, this research argues that a change in terminology is needed to talk about ASC and to reflect the changing conditions in which the term shamanism is applied. This presentation is a part of Cayley Rydzinski’s honors research project.